Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Every description you read of the Galápagos Islands contains superlatives: most amazing, cannot be found anywhere else in the world, the capital of paradise, and so forth. You will find them all to be true if you embark on this T2T-I trip. Moreover, when you return home and try to describe your experience, you will realize that the superlatives don’t even come close to matching reality!

This is a place that resides beyond words, not only for its unique biodiversity, but also for its people. Yes, there are people living in this archipelago! Join us and have the pleasure of meeting them. For this trip, we are partnering with the Galápagos Conservancy, the only U.S. organization focused exclusively on protecting the unique ecosystems and biological integrity of the Galápagos archipelago. We will be working in schools in the town of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, the second largest of the Galápagos Islands and its primary tourism hub.

Participants will encounter all kinds of magnificent creatures such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and Charles Darwin’s famous finches. They are an inescapable part of everyday life in this magical location.

Trip Details

Dates — July 1 to 12, 2017

Cost — $2,550 plus airfare

Grant Opportunities — Grants up to $600 are available to current and retired school staff and university faculty who are paying out of pocket.

Contact us at [email protected] to learn more about donating or receiving

frequent flyer miles for this or any other trip.

Trip Itinerary

aerial view of quito

Saturday, July 1 — Quito

After arranging your own air travel (let us know if you need assistance), you will arrive in Quito, Ecuador, today. An affiliated driver carrying a T2T-I sign will meet you at the airport and escort you to the team’s lodgings. You and the rest of your team members will spend the night in Quito at the Best Western Premier CPlaza Hotel.

Sunday, July 2 — Quito

The magnificent city of Quito awaits you! Today the group will tour the historic area, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well preserved colonial architecture. You will even see a church known locally as La Compagñía whose stunning interior is covered in gold leaf.

During the evening, you and the team will gather to discuss important information about the week ahead. T2T staff and team leaders will cover the upcoming professional development time, including useful pedagogical strategies.

Galap from airplane

Monday, July 3 — Transit to Galápagos Islands

You will begin the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and then you and the team will travel by air to the Galápagos Islands. Landing at the Baltra airport on Santa Cruz, you will spend the rest of the day exploring Puerto Ayora, the most populous town and home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Dinner tonight will be at a relaxing outdoor restaurant near the waterfront. Meals for the next week will showcase fresh, abundant seafood. Not to be missed are the shrimp, lobster, and ceviche. However, if your tastes gravitate towards burgers and pizza, that will be available as well.

Note: Smoking is prohibited on the Galápagos Islands.

Tuesday, July 4 — Galápagos Islands

This morning you will meet your local partner teacher at the Tomás de Berlanga school and begin collaborating. Remember to wear comfortable, thick-soled shoes for the lava rock trails at the school. Classroom sessions will provide the opportunity for you to collect observations.

During the afternoon you’ll be able to provide feedback to your partner based on what you observed. The two of you will plan tomorrow’s lesson.

Dinner on the spectacular Torre Mar rooftop patio will include time for recognizing the U.S. holiday. What better place to acknowledge cultural traditions than somewhere with different ones?

Wednesday, July 5 — Galápagos Islands

During the morning, your partner will lead the lesson you two planned the day before. Based on how it went, you will hold another feedback session later in the afternoon. Starting with what your partner thought did and did not work well,  you both will plan a lesson that you will teach tomorrow.

Your team leader will conduct a group professional development session on orchestrating real world tasks.

To relax after your work in the school, you will have the opportunity to experience Calle de los kioscos, a famous open-air collection of mom-and-pop seafood eateries. The street closes to traffic at dinnertime, allowing hungry diners to wander among the tables and chairs in search of the freshest langostinas (lobster), bruja (red scorpionfish), or whatever else looks too good to pass by.

Galap dudes

Thursday, July 6 — Galápagos Islands

During the morning, you will teach the lesson planned the day before. Your feedback meeting will focus on how your partner thought it went. You two will plan a lesson for the next day that you will co-teach together.

Dinner tonight will be at the El Chocolate restaurant, where you will want to save room for dessert!

IMG_1316

Friday, July 7 — Galápagos Islands

After co-teaching, you and your partner will have an opportunity to assess the success of the new pedagogical strategies that your partner is implementing. What goals were achieved? What learning happened? What are the next steps to take? You’ll be able to plan for the lesson to be delivered on Monday.

You and the team will gather to share experiences and reflect on the week.

Galap iguana

Saturday, July 8 — Galápagos Islands

Today will begin your free weekend to enjoy some of the varied recreational activities that the islands offer. You will choose between two excursions: a day cruise (there is a surcharge for the cruise) or a visit to Tortuga Bay where you can snorkel with (small!) sharks and sea turtles. Bring your camera, sunscreen, and sense of adventure.

Sunday, July 9 — Galápagos Islands

After a relaxing morning at the guesthouse, you and the team will embark on a visit to Santa Cruz’s other renowned sights. The older male giant tortoises of this island migrate to the highlands in June and July when the rainy season ends. You will visit a tortoise reserve that provides a home for these ambitious reptiles among a guava orchard. Also in the highlands are lava tunnels, enormous empty tubes that once held molten rock. Walking into one of these is like journeying to the center of the earth!

The final stop on this excursion is Los Gemelos, twin volcanic craters covered by Scalesia trees, known as Darwin’s finches of the plant world.

Galap beansMonday, July 10 — Galápagos Islands

Your collaboration with your partner will continue today, building on last week’s classroom experiences. As in prior days, a feedback session will follow so that you two can plan for co-teaching tomorrow’s final lesson.

Your team leader will offer a workshop for the entire group focused on how to make students’ thinking visible.

The day will conclude with another delicious dinner on the Torre Mar rooftop patio.

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Tuesday, July 11 — Galápagos Islands

You will be able to wrap up any loose ends during this morning’s classroom observations. The afternoon will be reserved for reflecting as a group on all the learning and growth that has taken place. You and the team will also spend some time afterwards sharing the take-aways you hope to transfer to your classroom in the U.S.

You’ll have one last celebratory meal in Puerto Ayora with the rest of your teammates, who by now will have become your close friends.

galapmotoWednesday, July 12 — Galápagos Islands

Departures, with transportation to the Baltra airport arranged by T2T. You will return to the U.S. through Quito, bringing special memories and undoubtedly a desire to visit again in the future.

Accommodations

Torre Mar vacation rentals include five ocean-view apartments, plus a large, outdoor, rooftop terrace for team meetings. It is centrally located within a short walk to the harbor and several restaurants and cafés.

You will share your apartment with up to two other people. Each one has air conditioning, two bedrooms (one with a king-sized bed, one with double beds), a bathroom with a shower, a sitting room, and a kitchen. Wifi is available but inconsistent and slow.

You will begin each morning on the terrace with a healthy breakfast of fruit, yogurt, granola, juice, and freshly baked pastries.

view of harbor with Torre Mar in background
The pink Torre Mar apartment rentals loom over the Puerto Ayora harbor
Torre Mar apartment building in Puerto Ayora
Torre Mar vacation rentals in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos
T2T-I math team meeting on rooftop terrace
The T2T-I team meets on the Torre Mar rooftop terrace in April 2016

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